Chasing Shadows on DVD - A Chat with Alex Kingston
I’m really bored of serial killer thrillers. If you’ll excuse the pun, I think they’ve been done to death.
When I found out ITV were releasing a DVD of their new drama series Chasing Shadows, I rolled my eyes (having seen 60 whole seconds of the show the week before).
However, I was curious to give it a look from the start, not least because it stars three of my favourite actors, Alex Kingston, Reece Shearsmith and Noel Clarke.
The saga of Ruth Hattersley (Alex), DS Sean Stone (Reece) and DI Carl Prior (Noel) searching for a missing girl soon hooked me, and 45 minutes later I wanted to catch the second episode.
I asked Alex her thoughts on finding freshness in a well-worn genre.
“Well I don’t watch that much television, so I haven’t seen too many shows where you’ve got serial killers being chased after by detectives,” she explains one lunchtime in LA.
(I do a good job of disguising the fact I am in awe having spent years loving her work in ER and Dr Who.)
She adds: “It’s a genre that’s been around forever, and it will continue to be around forever because it’s something that the public have an insatiable curiosity for, in the same way that you have endless detective shows or cop shows, lawyer shows, or whatever.
“It just seems to me to be part of our television culture in a way. So what drew me to play the role and do the show was the relationships really.”
The dynamic between the three protagonists is fascinating: an alpha male cop, a single mum civil servant and a socially awkward detective. Little wonder Ms Kingston signed up.
“I was intrigued by the relationship between the character of Ruth and the character of Sean,” she explains. “And then also having within that the triangle as well… I just felt it was something that I hadn’t done before in terms of playing a role.”
Ruth Hattersley is not your typical TV crime buster as Alex explains: “She’s not a detective, she’s a civil servant. She’s an analyst with the Missing Persons Bureau; she does a desk job, so she’s not somebody who’s used to chasing after villains, or anything like that.
“I just thought the idea of creating a department where these two characters are forced to work together – and he (Sean) being somebody who isn’t easy working with other people; he has very, very poor social skills – I just thought it would make for something quite interesting, occasionally comic, you know?”
One of Chasing Shadows’ greatest selling points is Reece Shearsmith’s performance as said socially awkward hero Sean.
“I like Reece’s work immensely,” enthuses Alex. “I was obsessed when he worked with Mark Gatiss and they did The League of Gentlemen; I was completely obsessed with that show.
“I love what they do and create as writers. And so I just thought this might be really interesting because Reece is going to want to create a character that’s sort of quite an oddball. As an actor and a writer himself, he will always try and push as far as he can do within the confines of ITV – the network – and I just thought I’d enjoy working with him in particular.”
Of course it doesn’t hurt having charismatic writer, director and recent Star Trek veteran Noel Clarke on board either.
“I didn’t know Noel before, and that was sort of an added pleasure, because the three of us are very different in personality and obviously in character and also in how we act, and actually I think it was a combination that worked out. It hasn’t been disastrous,” she laughs. “We actually all got on, despite our differences in personality.”
As an actress in LA, Alex could have opted for a project with sun-kissed locations. But she preferred to suffer for her art in Blighty.
“It was gruelling to do. The hours long, and obviously for the sake of the show, the locations chosen weren’t necessarily the most comfortable,” she laughs. “But I have to say that certainly the work ethic amongst the actors and everything was really good. And despite the difficulties in day-to-day filming, we managed and we got on, so I hope that all of our hard work does pay off.”
As Alex has been busy in New York working with Kenneth Branagh on Macbeth, ironically she’s still a little in the dark about Chasing Shadows.
“I haven’t seen any of it,” she laughs. “I just saw the bits and pieces of it when I was having to do ADR, but that was before it had been graded or anything like that, so I don’t really have a sense of how it turns out at all.”
With thanks to Alex Kingston for help with this blog post.
Chasing Shadows DVD out now. ITV Studios Global Entertainment
Alex Kingston cancelling her appearance at Dallas Comic-Con due to ‘Arrow’ filming
Guest News! The Dynamic Duo and a few other guests are unable to make it to Dallas. But with the help of Mr. Burns, a Black Canary, and a Goonie reunion it’s still going to be an ah-mazing weekend!
* Corey Feldman – NEW! Announcement (Sun Only)
* Caity Lotz – NEW! Announcement
* Harry Shearer – NEW! Announcement (Fri Only)
* Alex Kingston – Postponed (Arrow Shooting)
* Adam West & Burt Ward – Postponed (Batman Blu-Ray Tour)
* James Hong – Postponed
We’re just as disappointed as you about the guests who can’t make it! Ben & our buddies have been making calls and calling in favors – and have not stopped trying to get more late additions.
Glad to see Alex will be back on Arrow soon (although I still hope for some exciting Doctor Who news…).
Alex Kingston at New York City Comic-Con 2014
Some photo impressions of Alex’s appearance during the weekend:
Nice to see Alex’s support for such important matters.
Livetumblring todays’s U.S. BBC America Premiere of Doctor Who Series 8: Mummy on the Orient Express
Hello, Whovians! We will be liveblogging Mummy on the Orient Express, posting your gifs and fanart and reactions as they happen on screen from 9-10:00p EST, two hours from now. Because we’re doing it in real time, there’s no way for us to avoid posting spoilers.
If you need to avoid spoilers, we recommend installing tumblr savior or xkit. For instructions on how to install it on any browser, click here.
We will be tagging all of our posts with #DW Spoilers as well as #Mummy on the Orient Express and #8.08
If you cannot install Tumblr Savior and find it impossible to live without Tumblr for the evening, you should consider unfollowing and refollowing us once the episode ends. If you plan on liveblogging, make sure to tell your followers as well!
❤️❤️RIVER SONG BELIEVES THAT YOU MATTER, SWEETIE!!❤️❤️ Alex Kingston was sooooo sweet! She made sure I didn’t want to be in the picture before taking it and was happy to participate, giving me a warm smile as I left. And she’s so beautiful 😍😍 #ProjectYouMatter #AlexKingston #RiverSong #DoctorWho #Whovian #YOWZAH #11thdoctor #NYCC #NYCC2014 #NewYorkComicCon
Alex Kingston is coming to New York Comic Con (11 October)!
Talent will spend as much time at their table as possible. Please remember that talent, just like you, need time to rest, recharge, eat, etc., so please be respectful of their need to take breaks. Headshots will be available at the table for signing, or bring your own item! Cash is the only method of payment accepted. Guests reserve the right to refuse to autograph an item they deem inappropriate. Bootleg merchandise is not allowed.
Source: NYCC via Twitter
Alex Kingston: Franco a relaxed director
Regarding to the interview Alex did in January where she described James Franco as ‘relaxed’ director, Belfast.co.uk has published a similar article with more information on her new film ‘Bukowski‘.
Alex Kingston has revealed James Franco was a very “laid back” director when she worked with him on his new film Bukowski.
The This Is The End actor directed and co-wrote the film about American writer Charles Bukowski’s formative years, based on his autobiographical novel Ham On Rye, and Chasing Shadows star Alex plays Bukowski’s mother.
Alex revealed: “I’d never met James before. He’s incredibly laid back.
“I’m somebody who when I go to work I go to work prepared and I felt completely free to do whatever I thought was right for each particular scene. He had an idea of where the scene was going to be set up, but he literally seemed to leave us to our own devices.
“If he wasn’t happy he’d say ‘Go again’. But he allowed us to explore.
“He was fun. Quite shy. He’s not particularly forthcoming but I had a good time doing it.”
The actress admitted the role of Katharina Bukowski had been quite challenging as she had had a very difficult marriage.
Alex explained: “It’s quite dark. The life his mother had was really not happy at all. She was abused by his father as much as he was. but sadly she just allowed it, didn’t stand up to it, and sort of ignored what was happening to him, which was really tragic.
“I didn’t know much about him as a poet so it was a great way to be introduced to a fantastic American writer.”
Alex stars in detective drama Chasing Shadows, out now on DVD from ITV Studios Global Entertainment
Thanks Erin for the heads-up!
Rainham was on TV - Chasing Shadows!
How are you today?
I had to share – Chasing Shadows was on TV last night, and they were at Rainham Marshes!
This is one of the promo shots that are being used – and it was taken here at Rainham Marshes at the foreshore!
Chasing Shadows is a thrilling, new four-part drama, which focuses on the work of a missing persons field unit charged with tracking down serial killers who prey on impressionable and vulnerable people.
Reece Shearsmith (The Widower, Psychoville, The League of Gentleman) will play DS Sean Stone and his partner, Ruth Hattersley is played by Alex Kingston (Marchlands, Arrow, Upstairs Downstairs) whilst Noel Clarke (Star Trek Into Darkness, Doctor Who) takes on the role of DI Prior.
A part of the brand new drama filmed a little bit here at the reserve!
It was on TV last night – you can watch it again (and try and spot the reserve) here: https://www.itv.com/itvplayer/chasing-shadows
They had a lot of stuff!
Earlier in the year, in April, the cast and crew filmed at the reserve using sections of the river wall.
The cast and crew were fabulous – they made sure that what they were going to do wouldn’t disturb the wildlife or us!
We even got to meet some of the cast!
Terry, our Office Manager, was very happy to meet the lovely Alex Kingston…
Nicole, the Warden, and myself got to meet the very lovely Noel Clarke…
Oh dear… blinking at the wrong time!
He is a very lovely chap! (Nicole and I are Dr Who fans so meeting Alex Kingston and Noel Clarke on the same day was pretty cool)
They filmed over on the sea wall…. Picture by Elaine Crew
I hope the cast and crew had a good time at Rainham – Noel Clarke posted some pictures on his twitter account (@NoelClarke) at the time:
The lovely Noel and Reece – by Noel Clarke, from his Twitter page @NoelClarke
by Noel Clarke, from his Twitter page @NoelClarke
Chasing Shadows… gerrit? by Noel Clarke, from his Twitter page @NoelClarke
If you missed the episode you can catch up with this one, and previous episodes on the ITV player: https://www.itv.com/itvplayer/chasing-shadows
Watch the last episode of the series next Thursday – ITV, 9-10 pm.
What do you think of the series or the episode? Let us know!
New Post has been published on http://alex-kingston.com/doctor-who-star-alex-kingston-was-the-perfect-cure-for-indy-ref-fever/
Doctor Who star Alex Kingston was the perfect cure for indy ref fever
Alex Kingston is just what the doctor ordered!
Whew! What a week that was. I was glued to the telly waiting for the final result. The agony. The ecstasy. Sadly, my lottery numbers didn’t come up.
The best way to cure last week’s case of acute referendum fever was to call a doctor – or the next best thing.
Alex Kingston, star of ER and Doctor Who, came over to the house for a cuppa, a well-fired roll and a natter.
She was talking about her new ITV show, Chasing Shadows, opposite Reece Shearsmith and her old pal Noel Clarke.
Alex and Noel were Tardis-botherers for a few years, and she played the iconic role of roguish space adventurer River Song.
Way before that, she was Dr Elizabeth Corday in long-running medical drama ER.
She must have LOVED playing doctors and nurses as a youngster. I did – but I always ended up being the ambulance driver!
Alex is a neighbour of mine in Hollywood, so we thought it would be a good idea to meet up.
Not long after shoving the old magazines under the couch and giving the front room a blast of air freshener, Alex arrived looking lovely.
That’s despite the commute to London from LA to film Chasing Shadows.
“It’s the longest commute I’ve ever done,” she explained. “I’ve been back and forth three times in the last few month. That’s a long way to go. I’m hoping for a rest – just to give my body a break! The jet lag is something else.”
I’m a fan of Chasing Shadows and reckon we’ll see more episodes soon. Co-star Reece Shearsmith, is formerly of the creepy comedy The League Of Gentlemen. It’s an odd coupling, but the chemistry is good.
“What I liked about this script is that, as much as it’s about solving crime, it’s also about the relationship,” Alex said.
“My character is an analyst with the missing persons bureau, but it’s a desk job. She’s not a detective, she’s a civil servant. Reece’s character is a detective but he has problems with social skills.
“He’s on the Asperger’s spectrum. So this department has been created to give him one last chance. My character’s skill is people. Her job is to understand and give him the freedom to solve these mysteries.”
Alex’s roles have been quite varied – one minute she’s solving crimes, the next trading barbs with a Dalek. But she’s not a deep character study when it comes to acting.
“I’m not a method actor,” she pondered. “I go with my instincts. When I read a script it’s instantaneous – I’ll feel a connection or not. I have to feel it deep within me rather than put it upon myself.”
Alex is quite an easy-going character, she’s quite an elegant and serene figure.
“I’ve haven’t had a game plan in my career,” she added. “I’ve not plodded along, but I’ve never been pushy either. I feel that what will be will be.
“Sometimes I’ll be disappointed but there’s no point in getting het up about it. Life’s too short and I’ve been amazingly lucky anyway. I’ve done alright for being a plodder!”
Alex, who’s 51 now, started off in Grange Hill in 1980, and she can’t quite believe how far she’s come.
“I was doing a theatre job back in Manchester when a colleague recommended I go to see this medium she knew,” she added.
“She told me I would move to another part of the world. Somewhere hot and dry – California or Australia. And that I’d work with someone called George. At the time I thought, ‘What a lot of rubbish’.”
Of course Alex went on to appear alongside George Clooney in ER. I had to ask if she’d had an invite to George’s forthcoming wedding to lawyer Amal Alamuddin. Unfortunately not!
“We don’t keep in touch. My daughter asked, ‘Mummy, why don’t you get invited?’” Alex laughed.
“But George has got more important friends than me!”
Funny, Alex – I haven’t been sent one yet either…